Having a great sleep experience is one of the most important processes that our body naturally needs for good health and wellbeing. Although sleep is a time for significant rest and relaxation, it is also a time where our subconscious mind processes the experiences and emotions we encounter after a busy day. If you are stressed for any reason, then a good night’s sleep is even more essential for the mind to re-balance itself into equilibrium. Generally a healthy night of sleep is between 6 – 8 hours and a sense of wellbeing should be felt upon wakening. If you feel groggy in the morning, you may find these tips useful!
Help Your Brain and Cut the Daylight
Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the brain to help us fall asleep and awaken when daylight commences. If your room is too bright you may want to consider darker curtains or a blind to ensure you get an adequate night’s sleep. If you already have curtains, blackout lining can really help darken the bedroom space. This lining could be added to your current curtains, instead of buying new ones.
Reduce Stress and Drink Less
Everything in moderation is ok, but too much caffeine can really interfere with your sleep pattern. Not only does caffeine keep you awake, but if you are stressed, it can trigger your body to produce more of the stress hormone Cortisol, which will affect your body’s effort to relax and naturally fall asleep. Reduce caffeine intake throughout the day by gradually eliminating caffeinated tea, coffee and cola. Ideally replace with calming organic teas such as camomile, lavender and Pukka Sleep. Even green tea contains caffeine, so be aware! Alcohol is another pesky offender but one thing at a time!
Make Time for Relaxation
Do you ever get a chance to put your feet up or hold some space in your mind? If you need to escape from a hectic household, escape to the bathroom for a relaxing bath. Uplifting essential oils can be extremely beneficial in promoting a gentle relaxation process; in particular Lavender and Ylang Ylang are excellent for your senses and prepare the body for well deserved rest and recuperation. You can also add a couple of large handfuls of epsom salts or ‘Better You’ magnesium salts (this really makes a difference and relaxes the muscles too).
You Are What You Eat
How is your overall nutrition? A high percentage of the population are deficient in many vitamins and nutrients. From a sleep perspective, if you are low in magnesium, this could really affect your bedtime bliss. It could be worth getting some advice on increasing your magnesium levels not only for sleep but for overall optimum health. It is believed that up to 75% of us consume less than the recommended daily amount of magnesium. A deficiency can affect calcium absorption, normalised muscle function, energy production and hormonal health. Throw some magnesium rich foods into your daily diet such as nuts, seeds, swiss chard and spinach.
Review Your Bedtime Routine
Did you know that every hour that you sleep before 12am equates to 2 hours after? So the earlier you can go to bed, the more quality your sleep will be. Try incorporating a proper pre-snooze routine. This means switching off the computer and mobile phone at least an hour before bedtime, so the mind has a chance to calm down. The more time you allow your mind to consciously process the day, the less your subconscious mind has to process in your sleep. If you’re feeling really adventurous, why not try some guided meditation to help you along your way to slumber heaven!